Respecting your privacy
This Policy also includes our credit reporting policy, that is, it covers additional information on how we manage your personal information collected in connection with a credit application, or a credit facility. We refer to this credit-related information below as credit information.
What personal information do we collect and hold?
The types of information that we collect and hold about you could include:
• ID information such as your name, postal or email address, telephone numbers, and date of birth;
• other contact details such as social media handles;
• financial details such as your tax file number; and
• other information we think is necessary.
When the law authorises or requires us to collect information
We may collect information about you because we are required or authorised by law to collect it. There are laws that which require us to collect personal information. For example, we require personal information to verify your identity under Australian Anti-Money Laundering law.
What do we collect via your website activity?
If you’re an internet customer of ours, we monitor your use of internet services to ensure we can verify you and can receive information from us, and to identify ways we can improve our services for you.
If you start but don’t submit an on-line application, we can contact you using any of the contact details you’ve supplied to offer help completing it. The information in applications will be kept temporarily then destroyed if the application is not completed.
We also know that some customers like to engage with us through social media channels. We may collect information about you when you interact with us through these channels. However, for all confidential matters, we’ll ensure we interact with you via a secure forum.
To improve our services and products, we sometimes collect de-identified information from web users. That information could include IP addresses or geographical information to ensure your use of our web applications is secure.
How do we collect your personal information?
How we collect and hold your information
Unless it’s unreasonable or impracticable, we will try to collect personal information directly from you (referred to as ‘solicited information’). For this reason, it’s important that you help us to do this and keep your contact details up-to-date.
There are a number of ways in which we may seek information from you. We might collect your information when you fill out a form with us, when you’ve given us a call or used our website. We also find using electronic means, such as email or SMS, a convenient way to communicate with you and to verify your details .
How we collect your information from other sources
Sometimes, we will collect information about you from other sources as the Privacy Act 1988 permits. We will do this only if it’s reasonably necessary to do so, for example, where:
• we collect information from third parties about the loan or lease made available to you arising out of the services we provide you;
• we can’t get hold of you and we rely on public information to update your contact details; or
• we exchange information with your legal or financial advisers or other representatives.
What if you don’t want to provide us with your personal information?
If you don’t provide your information to us, it may not be possible:
• for us to give you the credit assistance you seek from us;
• to assist in finding a loan or lease relevant to your circumstances;
• verify your identity or protect against fraud; or
• to let you know about other products or services that might be suitable for your financial needs.
How we collect and hold your credit information
We will collect your credit information in the course of you answering the enquiries we make of you relating to the credit assistance you seek from us. In addition to what we say above about collecting information from other sources, other main sources for collecting credit information are:
• your co-loan applicants or co-borrowers;
• your guarantors/proposed guarantors;
• your employer, accountant, real estate agent or other referees;
• your agents and other representatives like the person who referred your business to us, your solicitors, conveyancers and settlement agents;
• organisations that help us to process credit applications;
• organisations that check the security you are offering such as valuers;
• bodies that issue identification documents to help us check your identity; and
• our service providers involved in helping us to process any application you make for credit through us.
What do we do when we get information we didn’t ask for?
Sometimes, people share information with us we haven’t sought out (referred to as ‘unsolicited information’). Where we receive unsolicited personal information about you, we will check whether that information is reasonably necessary for our functions or activities. If it is, we’ll handle this information the same way we do with other information we seek from you. If not, we’ll ensure we do the right thing and destroy or de-identify it.
When will we notify you that we have received your information?
When we receive personal information from you directly, we’ll take reasonable steps to notify you how and why we collected your information, who we may disclose it to and outline how you can access it, seek correction of it or make a complaint.
Sometimes we collect your personal information from third parties. You may not be aware that we have done so. If we collect information that can be used to identify you, we will take reasonable steps to notify you of that collection.
How do we take care of your personal information?
We store information in different ways, including in paper and electronic form. The security of your personal information is important to us and we take reasonable steps to protect it from misuse, interference and loss, and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. Some of the ways we do this are:
• document storage security policies;
• security measures for access to our systems; and
• only giving access to personal information to a person who is verified to be able to receive that information
We may store personal information physically or electronically with third party data storage providers. Where we do this, we use contractual arrangements to ensure those providers take appropriate measures to protect that information and restrict the uses to which they can put that information.
What happens when we no longer need your information?
We’ll only keep your information for as long as we require it for our purposes. We may be required to keep some of your information for certain periods of time under law. When we no longer require your information, we’ll ensure that your information is destroyed or de-identified.
How we use your personal information
What are the main reasons we collect, hold and use your information?
Collecting your personal information allows us to provide you with the products and services you’ve asked for. This means we can use your information to:
• give you credit assistance;
• give you information about loan products or related services;
• consider whether you are eligible for a loan or lease or any related service you requested;
• assist you to prepare an application for a lease or a loan;
• administer services we provide, for example, to answer requests or deal with complaints; and
• administer payments we receive, or any payments we make, relating to your loan or lease.
Can we use your information for marketing our products and services?
We may use or disclose your personal information to let you know about about other products or services we or a third party make available and that may be of interest to you.
We will always let you know that you can opt out from receiving marketing offers.
With your consent, we may disclose your personal information to third parties for the purpose of connecting you with other businesses or customers. You can ask us not to do this at any time. We won’t sell your personal information to any organisation.
Yes, You Can Opt-Out
You can let us know at any time if you no longer wish to receive direct marketing offers from us. We will process your request as soon as practicable.
What are the other ways we use your information?
We’ve just told you some of the main reasons why we collect your information, so here’s some more insight into the ways we use your personal information including:
• identifying you;
• telling you about other products or services we make available and that may be of interest to you, unless you tell us not to;
• allowing us to run our business efficiently and perform general administrative tasks;
• preventing any fraud or crime or any suspected fraud or crime;
• as required by law, regulation or codes binding us; and
• any purpose to which you have consented.
Who do we share your personal information with
To make sure we can meet your specific needs and for the purposes described in ‘How we use your personal information’, we sometimes need to share your personal information with others. We may share your information with other organisations for any purposes for which we use your information.
Sharing Your Information
We may use and share your information with other organisations for any purpose described above.
Sharing with your representatives and referees
We may share your information with:
• your representative or any person acting on your behalf (for example, lawyers, settlement agents, accountants or real estate agents); and
• your referees, like your employer, to confirm details about you.
Sharing with third parties
We may share your information with third parties in relation to services we provide to you. Those third parties may include:
• the mortgage aggregator through whom we may submit loan or lease applications to lenders or lessors on the mortgage aggregator’s panel;
• the Australian Credit Licence holder that authorises us to engage in credit activities;
• referrers that referred your business to us;
• lenders, lessors, lender’s mortgage insurers and other loan or lease intermediaries;
• organisations, like fraud reporting agencies, that may identify, investigate and/or prevent fraud, suspected fraud, crimes, suspected crimes, or other misconduct;
• government or regulatory bodies (including ASIC and the Australian Tax Office) as required or authorised by law. In some instances, these bodies may share the information with relevant foreign authorities;
• guarantors and prospective guarantors of your loan or lease;
• service providers, agents, contractors and advisers that assist us to conduct our business;
• any organisation that wishes to take an interest in our business or assets; and
• any third party to which you consent to us sharing your information.
Sharing outside of Australia
We are not likely to disclose your information to organisations overseas. However, we may store your information in cloud or other types of networked or electronic storage. As electronic or networked storage can be accessed from various countries via an internet connection, it’s not always practicable to know in which country your information may be held.
How do you access your personal information?
How you can generally access your information
We‘ll always give you access to your personal information unless there are certain legal reasons why we can’t. You can ask us in writing to access your personal information that we hold. In some cases we may be able to deal with your request over the phone.
We will give you access to your information in the form you want it where it’s reasonable and practical. We may charge you a small fee to cover our costs when giving you access, but we’ll always check with you first.
We’re not always required to give you access to your personal information. Some of the situations where we don’t have to give you access include when:
• we believe there is a threat to life or public safety;
• there is an unreasonable impact on other individuals;
• the request is frivolous;
• the information wouldn’t be ordinarily accessible because of legal proceedings;
• it would prejudice negotiations with you;
• it would be unlawful;
• it would jeopardise taking action against serious misconduct by you;
• it would be likely to harm the activities of an enforcement body (e.g. the police); or
• it would harm the confidentiality of our commercial information.
If we can’t provide your information in the way you’ve requested, we will tell you why in writing. If you have concerns, you can complain. See ‘Contact Us’.
How do you correct your personal information?
How we correct your information
Contact us if you think there is something wrong with the information we hold about you and we’ll try to correct it if it’s:
• out of date;
• irrelevant; or
If you are worried that we have given incorrect information to others, you can ask us to tell them about the correction. We’ll try and help where we can – if we can’t, then we’ll let you know in writing.
What additional things do we have to do to correct your credit information?
If you ask us to correct credit information, we will help you with this in the following way.
Helping you manage corrections
Whether we made the mistake or someone else made it, we are required to help you ask for the information to be corrected. So we can do this, we might need to talk to others. However, the most efficient way for you to make a correction request is to send it to the organisation which made the mistake.
Where we correct information
If we’re able to correct the information, we’ll let you know within five business days of deciding to do this. We’ll also let the relevant third parties know as well as any others you tell us about. If there are any instances where we can’t do this, then we’ll let you know in writing.
Where we can’t correct information
If we’re unable to correct your information, we’ll explain why in writing within five business days of making this decision. If you have any concerns, you can access our external dispute resolution scheme or make a complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
Time frame for correcting information
If we agree to correct your information, we’ll do so within 30 days from when you asked us, or a longer period that’s been agreed by you.
If we can’t make corrections within a 30 day time frame or the agreed time frame, we must:
• let you know about the delay, the reasons for it and when we expect to resolve the matter;
• ask you to agree in writing to give us more time; and
• let you know you can complain to our external dispute resolution scheme or the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
How do you make a complaint?
How do you generally make a complaint?
If you have a complaint about how we handle your personal information, we want to hear from you. You are always welcome to contact us.
You can contact us by using the details below
PO Box 1155
Noosaville DC QLD 4566
We are committed to resolving your complaint and doing the right thing by our customers. Most complaints are resolved quickly, and you should hear from us within five business days.
Need more help?
If you still feel your issue hasn’t been resolved to your satisfaction, then you can raise your concern with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner:
• Online: www.oaic.gov.au/privacy
• Phone: 1300 363 992
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Fax: +61 2 9284 9666
• Mail: GPO Box 5218 Sydney NSW 2001 or GPO Box 2999 Canberra ACT 2601
What additional things do we have to do to manage your complaints about credit information?
If your complaint relates to how we handled your access and correction requests
You may take your complaint directly to our external dispute resolution scheme or the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. You are not required to let us try to fix it first.
For all other complaints relating to credit information
If you make a complaint about things (other than an access request or correction request) in relation to your credit information, we will let you know how we will deal with it within seven days.
Ask for more time if we can’t fix things in 30 days
If we can’t fix things within 30 days, we’ll let you know why and how long we think it will take. We will also ask you for an extension of time to fix the matter. If you have any concerns, you may complain to our external dispute resolution scheme or the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
Letting you know about our decision
We’ll let you know about our decision within 30 days or any longer agreed time frame. If you have any concerns, you may complain to our external dispute resolution scheme or the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
We care about your privacy. Please contact us if you have any questions or comments about our privacy policies and procedures. We welcome your feedback.
You can contact us by using the details below:
PO Box 1155
Noosaville DC Qld 4566
What if you want to interact with us anonymously or use a pseudonym?
If you have general enquiry type questions, you can choose to do this anonymously or use a pseudonym. We might not always be able to interact with you this way, however, as we are often governed by regulations that require us to know who we’re dealing with. In general, we won’t be able to deal with you anonymously or where you are using a pseudonym when:
• it is impracticable; or
• we are required or authorised by law or a court/tribunal order to deal with you personally.
What do we do with government-related identifiers?
In certain circumstances we may be required to collect government-related identifiers such as your tax file number. We will not use or disclose this information unless we are authorised by law.
This Policy may change. We will let you know of any changes to this Policy by posting a notification on our website, correspondence via post or e-mail or you may contact us for a copy of the most up to date policy at any time.
Section One: BLSSA Complaint handling process, for reference by Credit Representative. These are the steps that must be followed by a Credit Representative if a dispute arises.
Complaints: Dispute Resolution Procedures
BLSSA is committed to the effective handling of complaints and resolution of disputes and sees this as a key means of ensuring that the services offered by BLSSA and its representatives are provided efficiently, honestly and fairly.
These complaints and disputes resolution procedures have been created to meet the requirements of the Credit Ombudsman Scheme Limited (COSL) and the MFAA Code of Practice, Australian Standards and relevant laws.
Every Credit Representative, staff member, Principal and Consultant, must understand and follow these procedures.
What is a complaint?
A complaint is defined in AS ISO 10002-2006 as:
An expression of dissatisfaction made to an organisation, related to its products or services, or the complaints handling process itself, where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected.
All representatives (including Credit Representatives) of BLSSA must adopt this definition.
How may a client complain?
A client may make a complaint in any format, for example by telephone, letter, e-mail or in person and may lodge the complaint with you or BLSSA directly by contacting the BLSSA Complaints Officers:
|1st point of contact at BLSSA:||2nd point of contact at BLSSA:|
|Complaints Officer:||Deputy Complaints Officer:|
|Name: George Brandoli||Name: Adrian Cunningham|
|Phone: 1800 014 375 or 0467 765 734||Phone: 1800 014375 or 0409 606 649|
|Fax: 03 8616 1918||Fax: 03 8616 1918|
|Email: resolutions@BLSSA.com.au||Email: resolutions@BLSSA.com.au|
|Mail: BLSSA Advice Complaints, PO Box 626, Collins Street West VIC 8007
What to do if you receive a complaint?
If you receive a complaint directly from a client about a credit service you have provided, you should make an assessment of the matter to determine whether it is a minor grievance or a formal complaint.
A minor grievance is a complaint that you may be able to resolve within five business days by:
- Calling the client to advise them of the status of their loan application. These types of complaints may relate to settlement delays, errors or delays with loan documentation or services issues.
- Calling the client to apologise and./or provide an explanation in relation to the client’s misunderstanding of the application and settlement process or applicable fees and charges, or about service or privacy issues.
For more information about the procedures required to be followed when dealing with a minor grievance, please refer to Dealing with minor grievances below.
A formal complaint includes:
- Any matter which you will not be able to resolve in five business days.
- Any matter involving compensation, refund of fees and/or interest.
- Any complaint from a lawyer, regulatory body, consumer advocacy centre, Tribunal Ombudsman or EDR Scheme.
- Any allegations of fraud or misleading or deceptive conduct.
- Any allegation of irresponsible lending, maladministration or negligence.
- Any allegation of a breach of legislation or common law.
For more information about the procedures required to be followed when you receive a formal complaint, please refer to Dealing with formal complaints below.
Dealing with minor grievances
If you are able to deal with a complaint within five business days of receiving it, you should investigate the matter and respond to your client.
If you identify that there are steps required in resolution of the matter (such as reimbursement of a fee or payment of an expense incurred by the client), or amendments required to your processes to correct any systemic issues, you should complete those actions as soon as possible.
If the client is happy with your resolution and the matter is resolved within five business days, you are not required to notify BLSSA and you are not required to send a final response in writing to the client.
While you are also not required to input details into a complaints register, this approach can help ensure you can provide relevant information about the complaint if called to do so in the future. Refer to the Complaints Register section below.
If the client is not happy with your resolution or the matter is not resolved within five business days, you must report the matter to the BLSSA Complaints Officers for their ongoing management. The matter is considered to be a formal complaint – please refer to Dealing with formal complaints below.
If you require assistance with managing a minor grievance, please contact the BLSSA Complaints Officers for guidance.
Dealing with formal complaints
As soon as you receive a formal complaint, or it becomes apparent that you are not able to resolve a minor grievance to the client’s satisfaction within five business days, you must immediately notify the BLSSA Complaints Officers by telephoning or emailing via the contact details noted above. Referral of the complaint may be made by completing and forwarding a copy of the original complaint and the following information (if not contained within the body of the complaint):
- Client’s name and contact details
- Date the complaint was received by you
- Description of the transaction and/or product to which the complaint relates
- Description of the complaint
- Letters, emails or documents received from the complainant that relate to the complaint.
A BLSSA Complaints Officer will contact you to discuss the complaint and may require additional information such as file notes and other records. If additional information is requested, this should be provided by you to the BLSSA Complaints Officer within 3 business days to ensure that a timely investigation can occur.
The BLSSA Complaints Officer will forward acknowledgement of receipt of the complaint to the complainant, and once their investigation of the matter is complete, will liaise with you, and will ensure a final response is provided to the client within 21, 30 or 45 calendar days from receipt of the complaint.
Final responses involving “default notices” or urgent disputes such as “applications for hardship” must be provided within 21 days. If BLSSA is unable to deal with the complaint as it relates to a third party (for example, a lender), BLSSA may ask the complainant to contact the relevant third party, depending on the nature of the complaint.
Final responses to privacy complaints should be sent to be received by the complainant within 30 days of the date you received the complaint. The final response must detail:
– the final outcome of the complaint using internal dispute resolution procedures;
– the complainant’s right to take the complaint to the external dispute resolution (EDR) scheme of which you are a member or to the Australia Information Commissioner, if the complainant is not happy with the resolution; and
– the contact details of that EDR Scheme and of the Australia Information Commissioner.
If a formal complaint is lodged directly to BLSSA by your client, a BLSSA Complaints Officer will contact you within 2 business days to discuss the next steps.
ASIC Regulatory Guide 165 provides that:
Where the complaint is resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction by the end of the fifth business day after the complaint was received, you will not be required to apply the full IDR process (i.e. recording complaints and sending final response to complainant in writing).
BLSSA encourages the implementation of best practices by its Credit Representatives, including adopting a recommendation by ASIC that all complaints, including those resolved within 5 business days, are recorded in a Complaints Register.
Where a complaint is received directly by BLSSA, we will record the matter in our BLSSA Complaints Register.
Where a complaint is received directly by you and you determine that it is a minor grievance and have resolved it to the client’s satisfaction within 5 business days, you are not required to advise BLSSA of the matter, however you should record the matter in your Complaints Register.
Section Two: The following template is for use by Credit Representatives and is to be provided to client if and when a dispute arises.
INTERNAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCEDURES TEMPLATE
We aim to provide the very best service for our clients. In the event that you are unhappy regarding any part of our service, our internal dispute resolution process provides that your complaint will be handled efficiently, honestly and fairly.
Loan Smart Pty Ltd is authorised as a credit representative (Credit Representative number 397204) to engage in credit activities on behalf of BLSSA Pty Ltd (Australian Credit Licence number 391237) who may assist us in the investigation and resolution of your complaint.
Should you have a complaint about our services, please contact:
|Loan Smart Pty Ltd Complaints Officer:||BLSSA Pty Ltd Advice Complaints Officers:|
|Anton Clarke||George Brandoli or Adrian Cunningham|
|Complaints Officer||Complaints Officers|
|ADDRESS: PO Box 1155 Noosaville DC, QLD 4566||ADDRESS:
PO Box 626, Collins Street West, VIC 8007
|PHONE: 07 5449 1116||PHONE: 1800 014375|
|FAX: 07 5302 0705||FAX: 03 8616 1918|
|EMAIL: email@example.com||EMAIL: resolutions@BLSSA.com.au|
The Complaints Officers are senior personnel in our organisation and in BLSSA Pty Ltd and have the necessary experience and authority to handle your complaint and make relevant decisions on outcomes.
The complaint need not be in writing and may be presented by any reasonable means, for example letter, telephone, email or in person. Please ensure you give us full particulars of your complaint.
If a complainant is not satisfied with the response to their complaint, they may contact the Credit Ombudsman Service Limited (of which we and BLSSA Pty Ltd are members) on:
Freecall: 1800 138 422
Phone: 02 9273 8400
Fax: 02 9273 8440
If the complaint is about privacy and the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of our investigations, the complainant may ask the Office of the Australia Information Commissioner to consider the complaint. The Information Commissioner can be contacted online at http://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/making-a-privacy-complaint or on 1300 363 992.
All staff and consultants who deal with (or are likely to deal with) clients, are aware of the names, titles and telephone numbers of our and BLSSA Pty Ltd’s Complaints Officers.
Each staff member and consultant is also instructed in how to transfer a client who has a complaint to our Complaints Officer or BLSSA Pty Ltd’s Complaints Officer; and what client details to record if the Complaints Officers are for any reason unavailable (this information will include a minimum of the name, telephone number, and description of the product or transaction to which the client’s complaint relates). We and BLSSA Pty Ltd do not to charge any fee in respect to any complaint.
We will provide a written acknowledgement of receipt of the complaint to the complainant within five business days, unless the complaint is otherwise resolved in the meantime.
We will ensure that a final response is given to the complainant as soon as possible, but within twenty one (21), thirty (30) or forty five (45) days of receipt of the complaint.
For certain types of complaints, involving “default notices” or urgent disputes such as “applications for hardship”, a final response must be provided within twenty one (21) days. If BLSSA Pty Ltd is unable to deal with the complaint as it relates to a third party (for example, a lender), BLSSA Pty Ltd may ask the client to contact the relevant party.
For privacy complaints, we are required to give you a final response within thirty (30) days.
If we cannot respond to the complainant within relevant timeframes, we will inform the complainant of the reasons for the delay and of their right to refer the complaint to the Credit Ombudsman Service or, in the case of privacy complaints, to the Australia Information Commissioner.
We will have provided a final response to the complainant if we:
(a) Accept the complaint and, if appropriate, offer redress, or
(b) Offer redress without accepting the complaint; or
(c) Reject the complaint.
WRITTEN RESPONSE TO A CLIENT
We will give the complainant a written response to their complaint and the reasons for reaching a particular decision on the complaint. We will adequately address the issues that are raised in the complaint.
Where practicable, our response will refer to applicable provisions in legislation, Codes, Standards or Procedures.
We will inform the complainant of the contact particulars of our EDR Scheme and, for privacy complaints, the Australia Information Commissioner if the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of our investigating the complaint.
If we accept the complaint and are of the view that it is appropriate to offer redress to the complainant, that redress may be non-financial as well as, or instead of, financial. If we consider that a financial remedy is appropriate then we will provide compensation for any direct loss or damage caused.
We will, when determining the appropriate remedy, take into consideration the extent of loss or damage suffered by the complainant, relevant legal principles, EDR scheme rules, the MFAA Code of Practice and other relevant codes of conduct and concepts of fairness and relevant industry best practice.
We will keep data concerning the complaint in such form and manner as we think fit and will enable analysis according to:
(a) Type of complaint;
(b) Subject of complaint;
(c) Outcome of complaint;
(d) Timeliness of response.
So that we can identify any systematically recurring problems, we will classify complaints accordingly.
Subject to legal constraints including our privacy obligations, we will make available data collected in respect of the complaint upon request to the EDR Scheme, of which we are a member, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
We will review our Internal Dispute Resolution Procedures at least every three (3) years to ensure that our complaints systems are operating effectively. This document was reviewed on 2 April, 2013.